Adding, previewing, and buying themes

To help you get started, the Themes page of your admin has a default theme set up when you open an account with Shopify. If you want to customize a different theme for your online store, then you need to add one to your admin.

You can add a theme in a few ways:

  • You can add a free theme from your Shopify admin.
  • You can try a paid theme from the Shopify Theme Store. You can preview any theme and customize it using the theme editor. You need to purchase a theme before you can publish it to your online store.
  • If you already have a theme in a ZIP file on your computer, then you can upload it.

If you're a developer, or you're working with a Shopify Partner or agency, then you can also add a theme to your store in the following ways:

You can add multiple themes to your account to try out any new themes, keep seasonal versions of your published theme, or test changes to a copy of your published theme. You can preview any of these themes, but only one theme can be published at any time. When you switch to a new theme, you can still access your old theme on the Themes page in Shopify.

The number of themes that you can add depends on your plan. You can add up to 20 themes on your Shopify account. For theme limits on Shopify Plus, see Shopify Plus. If you reach your plan's theme limit, then you need to remove a theme before you can add a new one.

After you add a theme, you can create a link so that you can share a preview of your theme with others. This can be helpful if you are looking for feedback before you publish a new theme or launch your online store.

Add a free theme from the admin

Free themes are developed by Shopify. Help with customizations for free themes is supported by Shopify.


  1. In the Free themes section near the bottom of the page, click Explore free themes. A window that shows all of the free themes will appear.
  2. Click any theme to read about its features and to preview the available theme styles.
  3. Click the Add button for the theme. The theme will be added to the Themes page of your admin.

Try a paid theme from the Shopify Theme Store

Before you make the commitment to buy a paid theme, you can try it by previewing the theme in your Shopify admin. While you preview a theme, you can use your theme editor to customize it, such as by changing it to use your brand colors, brand style, and products. Any changes that you make are saved when you purchase the theme.

You can preview up to 19 paid themes at the same time, which lets you to compare different themes before buying one. Paid themes that you're trying have a Theme trial label.

To get support for a paid theme, contact the theme developer.


  1. Visit the Shopify Theme Store and choose a paid theme.
  2. Click Try theme to add the theme to your online store.
  3. In your Shopify admin, click Online Store > Themes.
  4. In the Theme library section, click Actions next to the theme that you want to preview.
  5. Click Preview.

You can also customize a theme that you're previewing. If you're happy with how the theme looks with your store, then you can buy the theme and keep all the customizations that you made while previewing it.

Buy a theme from the Shopify Theme Store

After you've tried a paid theme in your online store, you can choose to purchase it. You can only publish themes to your online store that you've purchased.

Paid themes are created by third-party theme developers. General support and updates for third-party themes are provided by the theme developer. If you need advanced customizations, but don't have experience developing websites with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, then consider hiring a Shopify expert.


  1. From your Shopify admin, click Settings > Apps and sales channels.

  2. From the Apps and sales channels page, click Online store.

  3. Click Open sales channel.

  4. Click Themes.

  5. In the Theme library section, click Actions next to the theme that you want to purchase.

  6. Click Buy to begin the transaction.

Upload a theme file from your computer

If you have a theme in a ZIP file on your computer, you can upload it to the Themes page in the admin.

Before you upload, make sure that your theme files are compressed into a single ZIP file.


  1. In the Theme library section, click Upload theme.
  2. From the Upload theme window, click Choose File to select the ZIP file that you want to upload.
  3. Click Upload. The theme will be added to the Themes page of your admin.

Switching themes

When you add new themes to your store, they appear in the Theme library section of the Themes page in Shopify. You can switch to a new theme by publishing it to your online store. When you publish a new theme, your old theme is still available in the theme library (and you can switch back to it if you want).

If you update your theme manually, then the updated version of your theme appears as a separate version in the theme library. When you switch to the updated version, the old version of your theme is still available in the theme library. To learn more, refer to Updating themes.

Preparing to switch themes

When you add a theme to your theme library, you can customize it before you publish it. This is a good opportunity to review the new theme, and adjust the settings and content to reflect your business, before you replace your existing theme. You can also switch between multiple themes that you've prepared without needing to set them up again.

Your store's products, collections, navigation menus, pages, blog posts aren't changed or deleted when you switch to a new theme, because they're managed in the Admin, separate from the theme. However, the content and settings that are managed using the theme editor, theme code editor, and language editor are unique to each theme and theme version that you upload.

The following parts of your online store are associated with the theme. You must customize these parts of your online store for each theme you want to use.

Not all themes support all Shopify features. You should review the theme's feature list to make sure that it has the features you need.

Share a theme preview with others

If you are about to launch your online store or planning to change its look and feel by publishing a new theme, then you can seek feedback from others by sharing a preview of your theme. You can create a link that others can use to access a preview of any theme that you've added in your Shopify admin. The theme doesn't have to be published to be shared.

A preview link enables others to explore your online store, but prevents them from accessing the checkout. After you create a preview link, it remains active for 2 days. You can create new links as often as you like, and creating a new link won't affect old preview links.


  1. For the theme that you want to share, click Actions, and select Preview.
  2. On the preview bar at the bottom of the page, click Share preview. A window containing a unique share link will open.
  3. Click Copy link to copy the link to your clipboard.
  4. Paste the link into emails, chats, or on social media to share.

Ready to start selling with Shopify?

Try it free